Retrovirus-Induced Malignant Histiocytosis in Mice: A Model for the Human Disease
Malignant histiocytosis, also known as his-tiocytic medullary reticulosis or malignant reticulosis, is a hematopoietic neoplastic disorder characterized by proliferation of abnormal histiocytes and of their precursors, with mostly a rapidly fatal course [1, 2]. Clinical findings are fever, jaundice, pancy-topenia, and enlargement of liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. The etiology of the disease is unknown, although viral infections have been suggested as playing a role . The study of its pathogenesis has been hampered by the lack of a suitable animal model. However, we have recently described a novel retrovirus inducing a systemic neoplastic disease in mice which is strikingly reminiscent of malignant histiocytosis in humans .